Smoking II

May 22, 2010

One of the prime objectives this day was to get the fire going and to hang up the two pieces of meat that where not put into brine. The fire was built for other purposes but kept alive more or less the whole day. Having found the following recipe in the cookbook of Sabina Welserin from 1553 I realised that some steps ought to have been done differently.

202 To make smoked tongue, recipe from Herr Jörg Fugger

Take fresh tongues and cut the throat completely from it. Then they should be well pounded or beaten, lengthwise, over a block or a chair, not too hard, so that they are not smashed or do not become mangled. One must beat them until they become soft underneath and also at the tip. They do not, however, become as soft at the tip as at the back on the thick end. When they are so beaten, then put them into a trough with salt for a good while. Then they should be salted like other meat and a nice red raw beet cut into cubes and also peas sprinkled under them and in between them and over the top of them, but not all too much, and let them stay thus for a day or overnight in a warm place. Then lay a small board over them and a good heavy stone and let it remain so for four weeks. If, after four or five days, they should not be covered with brine, finely chop some red beets and cook them in water and drain the water off the beets and pour a glassful of vinegar into the water. The water should be cool enough that one could just bear to dip a finger into it. One could also cook a few peas with the beets, if the broth would otherwise be too red, and put the red beets and the likewise red peas together with the salt on the bottom and in between and on the top. They can lie for five weeks or longer, and when they are hung, the thick ends should be turned to the top, poke a hole through them with a baling needle and hang them on a coarse thread in a kitchen, which has no chimney, and not over the fire in the thick smoke, so that the outsides become nicely brown, they become splendidly brown. “

Though I will not be following the recipes some approaches may be worth following. Before hanging the tongue that were not to lie in brine I gave it a beating which resulted in some blood coming out of the meat.

However, as I was about to leave for the day I realised that it was probably not enough as I could see that the brine had started to turn red from the blood in the tongues.

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